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Live: Prop. 8 at the Supreme Court

After almost five years Proposition 8 had its day at the Supreme Court. Follow KQED on Wednesday during the Defense of Marriage hearing.


  1. Prop 8, Protests at the Supreme Court on 3/26/13
    Prop 8, Protests at the Supreme Court on 3/26/13
  2. Thousands of people waited outside the Supreme Court throughout the day.
  3. Reverend Paul Berghout from Virginia told KQED's Jacob Fenston outside the courthouse: “Marriage is defined by the union of one man and one woman and that’s something that’s good for society, but also the truth, I believe according to my faith and according to even reasoning naturally.”

  4. Californians Against Prop. 8
    Californians Against Prop. 8
  5. Californians Sophie Krensky, left, and Katie Wynne waited outside the Supreme Court before the oral arguments on Proposition 8. Krensky grew up with lesbian parents in Sonoma and says the idea that banning same-sex marriage strengthens families is wrong: "It's just not true and it's incredibly hurtful."
  6. Gahan Kelley and Bonnie Nemeth were two of the 18,000 people married in California during the brief moment in time that same sex couples could marry. The two now live in Virginia, and waited outside the Supreme Court building during the hearing.

    “It’s true about the arc of history bending towards justice, its really true, I’ve seen it so much in my lifetime, through so many social justice movements that it just seems like it’s our time,” Kelley told KQED's Jacob Fenston. 

  7. KQED's Scott Shafer in D.C. reported that outside the court, the mood was excited and even festive. "It was intense but civilized," Shafer said.

  8. The Supreme Court has released recorded audio from the Prop. 8 oral arguments. Listen below, or read the transcripts on News Fix.
  9. KQED's Scott Shafer, who was in the courtroom for the arguments, reports that both sides seemed to struggle with their arguments. Charles Cooper, who argued on behalf of Prop. 8 supporters, had difficulty proving that same-sex marriage causes real harm. Ted Olson, who argued on behalf of Prop. 8 opponents, had difficulty proving marriage is a fundamental right.

    Shafer said the big takeaway was that the justices are looking at the issue very cautiously - they don't seem ready to make a big, sweeping declaration on the right to marry.
  10. "Marriage is not a civil right," says Rev. Dr. Wanda Rolon, an influential social conservative in Puerto Rico, speaking at the National Organization for Marriage on the National Mall. "[Marriage] is an institution that possesses cultural and legal recognition due to the unique benefits it has to children, adults and families."
  11. The last time the Supreme Court took up marriage equality, it struck down the ban on interracial marriage. Loving v. Virginia was decided 46 years ago. Learn more.
  12. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's office released this statement: When the city of San Francisco started on this journey in 2004, we were very aware that marrying same-sex couples would lead to litigation. We were also cognizant that we could have moved forward with a legal battle without challenging state law. But discrimination and inequality is as much about people as it is the law, and in marrying Phyllis Lyon and the late Del Martin, a loving committed couple of 50 years, we put a human face to marriage inequality.

    Possible outcomes: There are five possible decisions the justices could make. Watch KQED's "This Week In Northern California" below for analysis or read about the options.
  13. Legal Analysis | KQED This Week
  14. Yes on 8 Press Conference
    Charles Cooper, the attorney for Prop. 8 supporters and Hollingsworth:
    "We believe that Prop. 8 is constitutional and the place for the decision to be made of redefining marriage is with the people, not the courts."

    No on 8 Press Conference
    The twin sons of plaintiffs Jeffrey Zarillo and Paul Katami spoke to the press after the hearing:
    "We are so incredibly proud of our parents. We love our family and we look forward to the day we will be treated equally, just like our neighbor's families."

    No on 8 attorney Ted Olson cautions about reading too much into the justices' questions: 
    "They don't miss an opportunity to ask penetrating, hard questions," and questions may not reflect which way they're leaning.
  15. Oral arguments finished a little before 11:30 a.m. ET. Here are some early takes from reporters: